My vacation radio activity from Portugal, using my CEPT license as CT7/F5IYJ is now over.
I was running my Elecraft KX3 with a Buddipole setup (rigid shock-cord adjustable whip with the mini-coil) as a vertical antenna. Power is from a 2.4 AH LiFePO4 battery, charged from a 10w foldable solar panel, which gives me about 3 hours autonomy at night, when the sun isn’t able to recharge the battery. Otherwise, during the day, the solar panel extends the time by 1.5.
I also used a power booster (homebrewed from Chinese parts) to keep the voltage from the battery at 13.5v with a voltage alarm to make sure I won’t drain the battery to a too low level and damage it. The solar charger is also homemade.
So with about 10 hours of operations, I QSO’d about 80 stations (27 DXCC entities) in CW -and few in phone for no code friends, over 5 continents. I didn’t try digi modes even if my KX3 can manage it without a computer. Why using phone or digi when CW can make it
Conclusion: an Elecraft KX3 and a Buddipole is a winning couple. Light and short enough to fit in your carry-on luggage. The Buddipole can be set up as a vertical antenna which is a great choice when you’re very close to salt water like I was. I brought also end-fed half waves but the vertical did much better, so I made only few 30m contacts with them.
Note: Portugal is not rare but some fellow hams posted me on the cluster which created some ‘mini’ pile-ups, 5 to 8 stations calling at the same time. Not a big deal but even if the pile-up was limited, I got the same South European stations calling on other stations signals. They surely expected I picked them up to have them ending messing up my traffic. This is what I did, I gave them a report, but they weren’t added to the log.
If you contacted me, you can ask for your QSL card (bureau or direct) from the ‘Log Page’, on the top of the screen.